Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was indicted on first-degree murder and weapons charges by a grand jury on Thursday.
The murder charge is tied to the death of 27-year-old semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd last June. In addition, Hernandez was slapped with five weapons charges. His friend, Ernest Wallace, was indicted for being an accessory after the fact of first-degree murcer, per the Boston Globe.
NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal writes Hernandez’s cousin, Tanya Singleton, was charged with criminal contempt. Prosecutors allege she bought a bus ticket for Wallace to flee from Georgia to Florida.
Should he be convicted, Hernandez will get a life sentence without parole while Wallace faces a maximum of seven years. According to Kevin Manahan of USA Today, the state of Massachusetts does not have the death penalty.
An account from Bristol County Attorney C. Samuel Sutter’s office states Hernandez, Wallace and another associate drove by to pick up Lloyd at his home and then took him to industrial park, where Hernandez allegedly shot him.
This may not be the end of the indictments for Hernandez. Manahan adds “there are ongoing investigations into a July 2012 double homicide in Boston, a drive-by shooting that killed two men, and an investigation into the claims of a Connecticut man who says Hernandez shot him in the face in Florida in March.”
In spite of the indictment, Michael Fee, Hernandez’s lawyer, said his client is doing well under all the pressure he’s in.
“He’s doing as good as you could expect, bearing up under the pressure. He understands what’s in front of him and he’s committed to clearing his name.”
The next step in this case is Hernandez’s arraignment, during which he will be informed of the crimes he’s charged with. He will also have the chance to enter a formal plea with the court, per CNN.
He signed a $40 million deal with the Patriots last summer but was released by the team within hours of his June 26 arrest.